Around Slovakia

First cinema for the blind opens in Nitra

THE SLOVAK Union of the Blind and Visually-impaired (ÚNSS) opened the country's first cinema for the blind in Nitra on August 31.
The Czech movie Štěstí was the first film to be screened, the SITA newswire wrote.
A narrator used pauses between dialogues to describe actions and scene changes, as well as other visual information, such as titles, speaker names, and even gestures.
"This way we get the whole actions of the film," Kveta Andrášková, a blind movie-goer, said after the screening.
The project, called Cinema Without Barriers, was organised by a non-profit organization called SINA that was launched by the ÚNSS. The project includes five screenings at the cinema, in the ÚNSS centre, from August to November. A mobile phone operator is covering the costs.
After this project ends, the union wants to continue the screenings.
"The screen, projector and audio equipment will stay with us, and thus our basic problem will be solved," union vice-chairman Jozef Zbranek said. "We want to screen movies every month, and if there is enough interest, even more often."
Admission to the films is free. Along with the blind, the union also wants to invite senior citizens, who often have sight problems, and social work students to the screenings. They plan to get films with narrated commentaries from an NGO in Brno, in the Czech Republic. The rights for screening a film with the commentaries costs about Sk500 (€15).
There are no films with Slovak commentaries yet, but that's expected to change in the future.
"We made contact with (someone) from the Film Institute, who is interested in commentaries for the blind," said Zbranek.
ÚNSS has a total of 5,500 members, of which 820 live in the Nitra Region.

Ancient Rome returns to Rusovce

Gerulata, the famous Roman military camp, officially re-opened last week.
photo: TASR

THE RENOVATED Roman Gerulata military camp in the Bratislava district of Rusovce let hundreds of visitors experience the atmosphere of Ancient Rome on September 8, the TASR newswire wrote.
The event offered a full day of activities for the whole family. Girls and women tried on ancient makeup, and others learned first-hand that it was not easy to wear a six-metre-long toga. Visitors could also taste ancient spices and learn to count in Roman numerals.
Drahoslav Chalány, a ceramist from Pezinok, prepared 80 kilograms of clay for children to shape into second-century style pots.
The event was capped off with a two-hour "Roman Freakshow" in the evening, in which Cleopatra, Cicero and other leading figures of the period came back to life.
The Roman Gerulata military camp is a national cultural monument run by the Bratislava City Museum. It was built in the second half of the first century to defend the border of the Roman Empire. It had an important strategic task because it was close to Carnuntum (in what is now Austria), the capital of the Pannonia province.
The site features building foundations and walls, and the museum exhibits fragments of stone altars, coins, a grave, kitchenwares and other precious findings.
The camp re-opened after an 18-month renovation this summer with the Roman Games. The renovation project cost Sk4.3 million (€127,000), which was co-financed by the European Union and the Slovak government. The City of Bratislava also contributed Sk500,000.

Fountain-bathing stag banned from Bratislava

THE BRITISH tourist who made headlines in Slovakia and the UK for his naked swim in an Old Town fountain has been sentenced to jail time and banned from entering Bratislava for the next 18 months.
Bratislava I District Court sentenced Stephen Mallone, 26, on September 4, the TASR newswire wrote.
Mallone was arrested in May after a security camera caught him stripping down and masturbating in the Hviezdoslavovo Square fountain in downtown Bratislava. He was taking part in a "stag party" bar crawl ahead of his wedding.
Because Mallone already spent 13 days in custody - from his arrest on May 26 to June 7 - he won't spend another day in prison. The decision has already taken effect, as neither the attorney nor Mallone's lawyer has appealed.

Jackpot winner scoops up more than Sk101 million

A SINGLE winner won a record Sk101 million (€3 million) prize in the September 5 Jackpot Loto lottery draw, the SITA newswire wrote.
Prize money in the game had been accumulating for almost six months.
The previous record lottery win was more than Sk90 million.
The winning ticket came from Bratislava. The lucky person paid just Sk170 (€5) for the ticket, and correctly chose all six numbers in a single column: 1, 14, 33, 36, 40 and 43.

Police seize more than 100 kg of marijuana

POLICE seized more than 4,300 marijuana plants, weighing 106 kilograms, growing outside a family home near Detva.
That amount would be enough to make 21,200 regular doses of the drug, police said.
The plants were growing on a 140-square-metre field near a family home in the village of Vígľašská Huť-Kalinka. Police have charged 27-year old Jozef, from Prešov, with the crime. He now faces one to five years in jail, police spokesperson Martin Korch told the SITA newswire on September 6.

Czech team captures vintage steam engine title

A Czech crew beat out five others in a race of vintage steam engines in Zvolen on September 8.
photo: ČTK

THE CREW of a Czech steam engine from 1904 chugged their way to victory at the Grand Prix Slovakia international competition.
The ninth annual competition for vintage steam engines took place in Zvolen on September 8, the TASR newswire wrote.
Karel Komár, Tomáš Polášek and Jiří Král, from Ostrava, won six out of eight disciplines at the competition, called Nostalgia in Clouds of Steam.
A Polish team came second and Slovaks from the town of Vrútky were third.
This was the Czech team's fifth victory in Zvolen. Their rivals were from Slovakia (two teams), Poland, Hungary and Great Britain (one from each country).
The competition is a popular event recalling the olden days of the railway. The teams competed in speed, transporting a mail sack, and coping with obstacles on the rails.

High Tatras
First snow of winter falls at Lomnický Peak

SNOW falling in the High Tatras is a traditional sign that summer is truly over in Slovakia. On September 4, almost 15 centimetres of snow fell at the Lomnický Peak in the High Tatras, the highest point in Slovakia with a meteorological station.
"Snow in early September is nothing unusual here. I would dare to claim that this is the first snow
of winter," Ján Čupeľ, a
Slovak Meteorological Institute meteorologist at the peak, told the SITA newswire.
"It is still melting in the sun, but the snow that fell in the shadows will stay there until next summer," he said.

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